Not the Same Kind of Nerd

Not the Same Kind of Nerd

My husband Stephen and I got married on Super-Pi Day (3.14.15) at a science museum because we are nerds and unashamed about it. There were dinosaurs on the pint glasses we gave away as favors. We even used the song from the final scene of Star Wars: A New Hope as our recessional. We are totally unashamed about geeking out about things.

But our individual geekiness-types are not thoroughly compatible. To borrow from the inimitable John Green, the Venn diagram of my geekiness and his geekiness is not a circle. For example, consider Exhibit A: I think John Green and Hank Green are flipping hilarious. He doesn’t. But that’s just the beginning.

  • I love suspense and crime-fighting and superheroes and mysteries. Stephen is very conditional about his feelings about these genres, and the very extraneous element that ramps up the excitement for me (BRITISHNESS) totally derails his interest most of the time.
  • Exhibit C: I spent the first few months of our marriage trying to win Stephen over to the Whovian fandom. We watched two straight seasons and then selections from the next season or two, and he’s completely nonplussed. (That sound you hear is me weeping over how Stephen will probably never get to appreciate Rory and how much alike I think they are.)
  • Exhibit D: I am an English major through and through. (Obviously; I just used the word “nonplussed.”)  I am not so hot with numbers that aren’t dates or page numbers. Technical skills aren’t exactly my forte (although it turns out I’m pretty good at building PC boards and soldering). Stephen, on the other hand, is an electrical engineer who thinks calculus is really fun, reads books about how exactly to brew various kinds of beer, builds guitar amplifiers from the ground up and thoroughly enjoys it, still has all his old engineering and math homework, etc. from college, brought three hardback books to bed the other night because he had bits of each he wanted to reread before embarking on a new project.
  • Exhibit E: I’m a theology nerd. Stephen thinks it’s fun to talk about those things from time to time, and that it’s certainly useful to an extent, but he does not geek out about theology. Like ever.

Thanks to the Hunger Games, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and plot-driven shows like Quantico and Narcos, we have had a lot to watch together. And I’ve been learning to appreciate the humor and perceptiveness of South Park and Bob’s Burgers (in which, by the way, I am like Linda – except I more often quote Jane Austen or the Westminster Standards than sing showtunes – and Stephen is totally like Bob), both of which Stephen thinks are brilliantly hilarious. But if you guys have suggestions, well, we’re pretty open to those…

Obviously, there are a lot of perks to marrying someone with interests, skills, and knowledge you don’t have. But I think it’s fascinating that, for all our nerdiness, we each have so much nerdiness that’s not in common with the other. That is the weirdest sentence I’ve written in a long time.

When we were church hunting during the first few months of marriage, we quickly figured out that I naturally (and not surprisingly AT ALL) home in on the theology being taught and applied – not just what is being said from the pulpit, but the lyrics of the songs sung, the elements of the service that are included, that sort of thing; Stephen, on the other hand, is hyper-aware of a church’s vibe – how folks are interacting, the tone of the pastor, the extent of apparent hierarchy in the church culture, the approachability of the people. So while I’m over here analyzing (sometimes to death) a weird thing that the pastor said in the sermon, Stephen is thinking, “I really like how obvious they make it that kids are welcome in the service with us.” This made our church hunt REALLY fascinating, but also was a quick demonstration of how well we are suited to each other. People who think like me are how Calvinists get labeled “the frozen chosen” – I need the invigorating, red-blooded thinking Stephen brings to the table. In this area, I am passionately heady, but his thinking puts flesh and blood relationships in an important position. I’m inclined to bust out a magnifying glass and examine orthodoxy – which literally means “right teaching” – while he’s sitting back quietly looking for orthopraxy – “right practice.” We both think both are very important, but put us together and we can actually consider both much better in real life.

I am a firm believer in the idea that no one can be queued up and tuned in to all the important, meaningful things – that’s one of the reasons we need community. Because I may care a whole lot about the Black Lives Matter movement, but I need people in my life to tell me about important issues that matter to them – addiction and eating disorders and Syrian refugees and preserving endangered species and life-giving approaches to fighting poverty. There are so many important things to care about, and the world needs people on mission for each one.

*It took me a lot of tries to title this post. It started off as “This Post Is Literally about Nerdiness and Church Hunting,” but that stopped fitting toward the end of the writing process. Most recently it was “I Didn’t Marry a Dude-Version of Me.” So maybe I will write posts on Fridays with weird titles. Cause this one is weird too.

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